Search Tips

Tips for Better Searches

Tip 1: Be as precise as possible. Type in two or three well-chosen keywords into the search engine:

For example, if you’re looking for information on Tyrannosaurus rex, don’t type in “dinosaurs.” You’ll get too much information about dinosaurs and not enough hits about T-rex.
Instead, pick a few well-chosen key words: T-rex.
Another example is: children WW2 Britian, if you’re trying to research about children in Britain during World War ll.

Tip 2: Put the most important keywords first.

For example, if you wanted information about what the T-rex ate, you might use the following keywords in this order: Tyrannosaurus rex diet. The search engine will look for Web pages that contain all these words.

Tip 3:  Use the + sign to tell the search engine exactly what you are looking for.

For example, if you want to find out about the human heart for Science homework, don’t simply type heart. This doesn’t give the search engine enough information. Instead, you need to tell it that we only want pages that have the both the words heart and human in them, by placing a + between the words:
heart + human
– sign can be used too if you want to exclude any particular words in your search.

Tip 4: Use speech marks to tell the search engine to look for a phrase.

Example: “Kingston Upon Thames”.
If you want to find information on the town Kingston Upon Thames, it is better to put speech marks around the words, so that the search engine treats it as one phrase. You don’t want it looking for everything on ‘Kingston’, on ‘Upon’ and on ‘Thames’ – 3 separate key words!

Tip 5: If you are using Google, select ‘Pages from the Ire’.

This will stop your search results including pages from the rest of the world.


  • Make sure you spell the keywords correctly.
  • 2 or 3 keywords (most important first),
  • + or – signs,
  • “speech marks”
  • If all fails – try more than one search engine!